תמונות בעמוד

into a prosaic form. Whether this was negligence or design'in the poet, is hard to say, but it is evident that by this unreasonable run of the sense out of one line into another, and by bis too frequent avoiding not only colons and periods, but even commas at the end of the line, it becomes hardly possible for the ear to distinguish all the ends and beginnings of his verses ; nor is the reader able to observe such accents and such pauses as may give and maintain sufficient distinction. Now if the beginning and ending of every verse is not distinguished by the hearer, it differs too little from a sort of poetical prose.

LXXIII.-A dying World, and a durable Heaven.

WOULD one think it possible for the sons and daughters of Adam, who see all things round them upon the face of the earth in perishing and dying ciroumstances, to speak, and act, and live as though they should never die? The vegetable world with all its beauties seems to pass under a spreading death every year; the glory of the field, the forest, and the garden perish. Animal nature is born to die and mingle with its original dust; not the strength of beasts, the ox, or the lion, can resist their fate; nor the fowl of the swiftest wing escape it ; vor can the pations of insects bide from it in their dark holes and caverns, where they seek to prolong their little beings, and keep the vital atoms together through the changing seasons, Our own flesh and blood is much of the same make, it is borrowed from the sajne materials as theirs, it has a similar composition, and sin has mingled many more diseases in our frame, than are known to the vegetable or brutal kinds. We see our ancestors gu before us to the grave, and yet we live as though we should never follow them. We behold our neighbours carried away from the midst of us daily to their beds of earth, and yet we are as thoughtless of tbis awful and important hour, as thougb our own turn would never come. Let us survey mankind a little : How are all their tribes employed? What is the grand business of life ? Are not all their powers of flesh and miod devoted to the purposes of this poor, short, mortal period, as though there were nothing to succeed it ? And yet if we ask those who dwell around us in our nation, Do you not believe a heaven and an eternity of bappiness for those who seek it sincerely, and labour for it ? they confess this divine truth by the force of reason and conscience, and by the light of scripture; but they forget it in a few moments, and return to their follies again, and with a greedy and incessant desire they repeat the pursuit of perishing vanities.

O that we could but keep ourselves awake awbile from the intoxicating pleasures and cares of this life, and shake off all these golden dreams that perpetually surround our fancy! we should theu surely employ our nobler powers to a diviner purpose: If we did but dwell a little with a fixation of thought upon the scenes of death all around us bere on earth, and if we now and then surveyed the visible heavens, their brightness and their duration, we might perhaps be put in mind of those momentous truths which might direct our conduct, might wean us from our fondoess of these sensible and perishing trifles, and apimate us in good earnest to pursue the durable glories of heaven. A walk through a church-yard by sun or star light, would afford such a meditation as this :

All born on earth must die. Destruction reigns
Round the whole globe, and changes all its scenes.
Time brushes off our lives with sweepiog wing:
But beav'n defies its power. There angels sing
Immortal. To that world direct thy sight,
My soul, ethereal-born, and thither aim tby flight:
There virtue finds reward; eternal joy,
Unknown on earth, sball the full soul employ.
This glebe of death we tread, these shining skies,
Hold out the moral lessons to our eyes.
The sun still travels his illustrious round,
While ages bury ages under ground:
While heroes sink forgotten in their urns,
Still Phospher* glitters, and still Syrios * burns.
Light reigns through worlds above, and life with all her springs:

Yet man lies grov'ling on the earth,

The soul forgets its heav'nly birth,

Nor mourns her exile thence, nor homeward tries her wings. Thus far with regard to the bulk of mankind, whose souls are immersed in flesh and blood, who mind. none but eartbly things, whose God is this world, and whose end is destruction: But it is a melancholy thing also to consider, that where a divine ray from abuve has penetrated the heart, has begun to operate a heavenly temper, to kindle a new life in the soul, and set it a breathing after eternal things, it is still ashamed to make this new life appear, and this divine ray discover itself ; it is ashamed to shine like a Son of God in such a dark and vicious world, amongst men of degenerate minds, who have an aversion to all that is holy and heavenly. We would fain be always in the mode, and are afraid to be looked at in the dress of piety among thousands whose neglect of God have stamped the fashion. Are there not several such christians amongst us, who dare not open their lips in the language of paradise, nor let the world know they belong to heaven, till death and the invisible state are brought near them, and set in full view by some severe sickness or some terrible accident wbich threatens their removal lience? It is a near view of the grave and eternity, that subdues all other passions into devotion, that makes them begin to speak and act publicly like the children of God, and gives them a sacred fortitude, a blessed superiority of soul over all their foolish fears, and all the reproaches of sinful men.

* The morning-star, and the dog-star.

1 WHEN death and everlasting things 113 Lord, shall my soul again conceal Approach and strike the sight,

Her faith, if death retire ? The soul unfolds itself, and brings Shall shame subdue the lively zeal, Its hidden thoughts to light.

And queach th' ethereal fire? 2 The silent christian speaks for God, 4 0 may my thoughts for ever keep With courage owns his name,

The grave and beav'n in view And spreads the Saviour's grace Lest, if my zeal and courage sleep, abroad :

My lips grow silent tool
The zeal subdues the shame,

LXXIV.-The Rewards of Poesy.

Damon, Thalia, Uranio.

MUSE, 'tis enough that in the fairy bow'rs
My youth has lost a thousand sprightly hours,
Attending thy vagaries, in pursuit
Of ed blossoms or inchanted fruit.
Forbear to tease my riper age: 'Tis hard
To be a slave so long, and find no small reward.

Man, 'tis enough that in the books of fame
On brazen leaves the muse shall write thy name,
Ilustrious as her own, and make thy years the same.
Fame with her silver trump shall spread the sound
Of Damon's verse, wide as the distant bound
Of British empire, or the world's vast round.
I see, I see from far the falling oars,
And Aying sails that bear to western shores
Thy shining name; it shoots from sea to sea;
Envy pursues, but faints amidst the way.
In vision my prophetic tube descries
Behind five hundred years new ages rise,
Who read thy works with rapture in their eyes.
Cities unbuilt shall bless the lyric bard.
O glorious memory! O immense reward !

Ah flatt'ring muse ! how fruitless and how fair
These visionary scenes and sounding air !
Fruitless and vain to me! Can noisy breath
Or fame's loud trumpet reach the courts of death
I shall be stretch'd upon my earthy bed,
Uothinking dust, por know the honours paid
To my surviving song. Thalia, say
Have í no more to hope ? Hast thou no more to pay ?

Say, what had Horace, what had Homer more,
My favourite sops, whom men almost adore ;
And youth in learned ranks for ever sings,
While perish'd heroes and forgotten kings,
Have lost their names ? 'Tis sov'reign wit has bought
This deathless glory : This the wise bave thought
Prodigious recompence-


Prodigious fools,
To ibink the hum and buz of paltry schools,
And aukward tones of boys, are prizes meet
Eor Roman harmony and Grecian wit!
Rise from thy long repose, old Homer's ghost!
Horace arise! Are these the palms you boast
For your victorious verse? Great poets, tell,
Can echoes of a name reward you well,
For labours so sublime? Or have you found
Praise make your slumbers sweeter in the ground?

Yes, their sweet slambers, guarded by my wing,
Are Jull’d and soften'd'by th' eternal spring
Of bubbling praises from th' Aonian hill,
Whose branching streams divide a silver rill
To every kindred urn: Apd thine shall share
These purling blessings under hallow'd air:
The poets, dreams in death are still the muses care.

Once, thou fair tempter of my heedless youth,
Once and by chance thy tropes have bit the trutb ;
Praise iş but empty air, a purling stream,
Poels are paid with bubbles in a dream.
Hast thou do songs to entertain thy dead ?
No phantom-lights to gliminer round my shade?

Believe me, mortal, where thy relics sleep,
My nightingales shall tuneful vigils keep,
And chear thy silent tomb: The glow-worm sbine
With evening lamp, to mark which earth is thine :
While midnight fairies, tripping round thy bed,
Collect a moon-beam glory for thy head.
Fair hyacinths thy hillock shall adorn,
And living ivy creep about thy urn :
Sweet violets scent the ground, while laurels throw
Their leafy shade o'er the green turf below,
And borrow life from thee to crown some poet's brow.

Damon. Muse, thy last blessings sink below, the first; Ah wretched trifter! To array my dust In thy green flow'ry forms, and think the payment just! Poor is my gain should nations join to praise ; And now must chirping birds reward my lays? What! shall the travels of my soul be paid With glow-worm light, and with a leafy sbade, Violets and creeping ivies ? Is this all, The muse can promise, or the poet call His glorious hope and joy?Are these the honours of thy favourite sons, To bave their flesh, their limbs, their mould'ring bones Fatten the glebe to make a laurel grow,


Which the foul carcase of a dog might do,

vile manure? Away, be gone;
Tempt me no more : '1 new renounce thy throne:
My indignation swells. Here, fetch me fire,
Bring me my odes, the labours of the lyre;
I doom them all to ashes,


Urania. Rash man, restrain thy wrath, these odes are mine; Swall is thy right in gifts so much diviné. Was it thy skill that to a Saviour's name Strung David's barp, and drew th' illustrious theme From smoking altars and a bleeding Lamb? Who formi'd thy sounding shell? Who fix'd the strings, Or taught thy hand to play eternal things? Was't not my aid that rais’d thy notes so high ? And they must live till time aud nature die. Here heav'n aad virture reiga: Here joy and love Tune the retir'd devotion of the grove, And train up mortals for the thrones above. Sinners shall start, and, struck with dread divine, Shrink from the vengeance of some flaming lioe; Shall melt in trickling woes for follies past; Yet all amidst their piercing sorrows taste The sweets of pious hope : Emanuel's blood Flows in the verse, and seals the pardon good. Salvation triumphs here, and heals the smart Of wounded conscience and a breaking heart. Youth shall learn temp'rance from these hallow'd strains, Shall bind their passions in harmonious chains ; And virgins learn to love with cautious fear, Nor virtue needs her guard of blushes here. Matrons, grown reverend in their silver bairs, Sooth the sad memory of their ancient cares With these soft hymns ; while on their trembling knee Sits their young offspring of the fourth degree With list ’ning wonder, till their infant tongue Stammers and lisps, and learns th’immortal song, And lays up the fair lesson to repeat To the fourth distant age, when sitting round their feet.

Each heav'n-born heart shall choose a favourite ode To bear their morning homage to their God, And pay their nightly vows. These sacred themes Inspire the pillow with ethereal dreams; And oft amidst the burdens of the day Some devout couplet wings the soul away, Forgetful of this globe : Adieu, the cares Of mortal life! Adieu, the sins, the spares ! She talks with angels, and waiks o'er the stars. Amidst th' exalted raptures of the lyre O'erwhelm'd with bliss, shall aged saints expire, And mix their notes at once with some celestial choir.

What holy sounds are these? What strains divine ?
Is it thy voice, 0 blest Urania, thine ?

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